A day after the infamous sacking of the red devils’ boss Jose Mourinho, an interim replacement or a “Caretaker manager” has been named in the form of a former club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Solskjaer will manage the club for the rest of the season. Solskjaer will be accompanied by Mike Phelan as the first-team coach with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna resuming their duties.
Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club.
We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future. #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 18, 2018
The news about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was confirmed when the club tweeted and there was a sigh of relief among the fans who sense a revamp at the winter transfer window.
This replacement came after a poor run of form of the club. Being stranded at a mediocre 6th position on the table, fingers were pointed at Mourinho’s negative approach throughout the season. The club won just 7 of their 17 league games drawing and losing 5 each. Mourinho however, led United to a Europa league and also a brief domestic success during his tenure.
We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season.
He will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 19, 2018
After the news went out about him being sacked, Mourinho broke his silence by reminding that this is not something alien to him.
“I think you know me, I don’t change. What I did when I left Chelsea, for example, is that same that I’m going to do now. I keep the good things and I don’t speak about anything that happened in the club. I could speak about not as good but that’s not me.”
He was at his diplomatic best when he responded to a question in the following manner.
“Manchester United has a future without me and I have a future without Manchester United. It’s over, that’s me and that’s how I’ve always been. I was always very critical of managers that leave clubs and then they come out and they speak about the details of what happened, who is to blame. That’s not me.”
“Until I get back to football I feel I have to right to live my normal life.”
The Portuguese veteran added.
The replacement though has given the fans, the sight of an island on a sea of mediocrity as the Solskjaer himself, was a prolific forward with 366 appearances as a red devil, scoring 126 goals in the process.
Solskjaer was one of the architects of the club’s treble-winning performance in 1998-99 season scoring the all-important injury-time goal in the champion’s league final against Bayern Munich at Camp Nou.
Solskjaer is not new to the manager’s role although he has not tasted much success yet in England. He is the current manager of his national team and also managed Cardiff city for a brief period of 8 months back in 2014. Interestingly, Solskjaer’s first assignment as a manager at Old Trafford would be against the same club with which he has a rather bitter past since Cardiff city was relegated under him.
— manutd (@unitedlogy) December 20, 2018
After retiring in 2007 with a knee injury, Solskjaer remained a reserve team manager at United before returning to his native country in 2011 to manage his former Norwegian club, Molde.
Solskjaer had been with Molde for the last three years which is probably the most standout element on his CV until now. Solskjaer led the club to their first Norwegian league title during his first year, repeated the feat next year and also led them to a third title in the form of Norwegian football cup in 2013.
Solskjaer is known for maintaining a constructive culture at the club. During his reign at Molde, he was once found guilty of comparing one of his players to the United players which worked wonders for the club as the same player scored 16 goals in the next 27 matches and proved to be one of the playmakers in their success.
Maybe Manchester United needs this kind of culture desperately after some major blows to the team’s morale in the recent past. A noteworthy fact is that the appointment of Solskjaer is temporary. Ed Woodward, along with the other United chiefs will be out scouting for a permanent replacement expected to be announced at the end of the season.
— manutd (@unitedlogy) December 19, 2018
There is an air around the Old Trafford looking for a potential permanent well versed with the club and its expectations. A manager who could get the best out of the huge money transfers and also maintain a pool of young prospects. A positive culture is at the top of the wish list of Ed Woodward. The manager would also be expected to report to the technical director of football within the new structure.
Another interesting chapter added to the eventful season that the fans have witnessed so far. It remains to be seen if the chapter ends on a frustrating or a happy note. We, The fans desperately hope for the latter.